Can probiotics contribute to support the immune system?
The results of several studies point out that the use of selected strains of probiotics, certain prebiotics and specific combinations thereof (synbiotics), can support the immune system.
Maintaining a healthy immune system allows the body’s defense system to fight pathogens such as viruses. There is a general consensus that consuming certain probiotics supports the functioning of our immune system by adjusting the intestinal microbial balance and/or by interacting with the host immune system.
Furthermore, several studies indicate that specific lactic acid bacteria, strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, may help the immune system by producing or triggering beneficial compounds to respond appropriately to potential challenges. For example, in malnutrition models, such as undernourishment and obesity, probiotics were able to increase the intestinal and systemic immune response.
Overall, a consistent body of evidence suggests that oral consumption of selected probiotics may decrease the incidence or severity of some common infections. Probiotic bacteria are emerging more and more as a safe and natural strategy for immunity related disorders.